Can anyone else that is an only child (like myself) tell me how you relieve stress and get a break? - AgingCare.com

Can anyone else that is an only child (like myself) tell me how you relieve stress and get a break?

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Does anyone know how to get relief help without it costing you fortune? I am an only child, middle-aged and have a 9-year-old girl, plus mom to take care of. Mom’s been living with us since April, 2010 and I have not had a break—other than putting my mom to bed and getting breaks that way. I have nobody to help me. My mom’s relatives most are in the 75 to 80 range. My mom’s baby brother is 64, but he tells me that I have a lot on my plate, but tells me he’s sorry he can’t help me. He and several other of her siblings have told me the same thing.
I’m just to the breaking point with mom. She has dementia and gets so confused. You just wouldn’t believe what I’m going through on a daily basis unless you are an only child yourself with no help.
Thanks for being a sounding board!

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Have you had your Mom evaluated for home health care? Her doctor can request this and depending on what they decide Medicare will pick up the fees.

Check with social services for the elderly in your area for what other services might be available. In our area the hourly fee is between $10-16.00 depending on the amount of nursing involved.

Good luck and God bless!
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Could you afford to hire someone to come in--even for short breaks? I am not an only child, but my siblings live far enough away that they cannot be a day to day help, so I have cultivated a few younger girls looking for part-time work/ extra spending money, and I have them come in for a few hours here or there so that I can take a break. If you use your resources correctly you can really get a lot of bang for your buck--maybe you have someone come in for four hours on Saturday. Have them come thru lunchtime--that way you get the break, plus THEY can handle feeding time for you. Little things like that can really go a long way towards saving your sanity. I have had experience with siblings that don't want to help out. It is very frustrating. My own experience is that people don't change much--those who are willing to help will always pitch in, and those who are not willing to help rarely change their ways. This is unfortunate--but I would say don't waste energy on that. Find other ways to get yourself some help. Sometimes church is a good resource. If she attended a church, there might be someone in the congregation that would be willing to help out from time to time. When you are in it alone ANY help is beneficial. Hang in there.
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If you had siblings, the duties should be shared, but since you are an only child, it puts the sole caregiving on your shoulders. Would it be possible to ask your mom's brother and your mom's other siblings, if they can help once a month, or at least once in a while? Do they live in your area? In addition, is there a caregiver looking for work that would work for free room and board (your house) if she looks after your mom? A caregiver even coming on week-ends to help with your mom (in exchange for free room and board) could give you a lot more free time. If you do hire outside help, make sure to call for references and/or do a background check. Good Luck
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